To get a better understanding of financial institutions’ current IT situation, we surveyed approximately 100 bankers to identify their top IT priorities, IT challenges, security concerns and compliance issues, as well as what technologies and investments they plan to leverage in the coming year. We recently published the findings in our white paper, “2017 Community Bank Information Technology Outlook,” to provide community banks with valuable peer data that can provide guidance for key IT, compliance and security decisions in 2017 and beyond. Here are some highlighted trends from the results:
2018 Community Bank Information Technology Outlook
- Increasing Technology
In today’s banking environment, community banks recognize and embrace the use of technology and remain committed to investing in new technologies and services moving forward. In fact, nearly 77% of respondents claim they are spending more on technology today than they have in the past. However, the challenge often lies in trying to keep pace with the rapid rate of change that is influencing their business. Community banks are continuing to explore ways to enhance and augment their IT departments, as many institutions struggle to maintain adequate personnel needed to manage the complex activities required of the IT department. To counter this, 71% of respondents have turned to outsourcing their network management and 63% have outsourced their IT support.
- Cybersecurity is the Greatest Security Challenge for 2017
According to the survey, 94% of respondents foresee cybersecurity as their greatest security challenge in the coming year. No doubt this is in response to a seemingly constant stream of news about security breaches and the possible enforcement of the Cybersecurity Assessment Tool (CAT). Community banks must have procedures in place to secure customer and confidential data and recover critical business processes regardless of the source or nature of the threat. Having a thorough understanding of the CAT and how to properly complete it will help banks to improve their cybersecurity processes and better meet examiner expectations.
- Compliance Concerns
Compliance issues are top-of-mind as many community banks are challenged to keep up with constantly changing regulatory requirements. This is reflected in the approximately 40% of respondents that have chosen to outsource their compliance needs. This number is on the rise and is likely to continue to increase as respondents indicate that regulators have been more aggressive as of late and examiners’ expectations and demands continue to increase. Approximately 59% of participants say they now spend more on their IT compliance needs as a result.
Other areas including vendor management, business continuity planning, information security, cloud, and email continue to provide financial institutions with room for improvement. To achieve this, community banks are increasingly turning to their peer groups when seeking recommendations to help guide their decisions regarding new technology and services. The majority, approximately 90% of the survey respondents, consistently leverage their peer network when researching a new solution or vendor.
To gain more insights into the key challenges, goals and opportunities facing community banks today, please download the full report here.